The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and violates the right to life. Execution is irrevocable and can be inflicted on the innocent. The imposition and infliction of the death penalty is brutalizing to all who are involved in the process. Furthermore it has never been shown to deter crime more effectively than other punishments. The death penalty is frequently used as an instrument of repression against opposition, racial, ethnic, religious and underprivileged groups. It is an act of violence and tends to provoke further violence.
Despite the decline in the vast number of death sentences carried out in Iran over the past few years, the 1994 data released by Amnesty International ranks the Islamic Republic of Iran the second in the world when it comes to the number of executions in a year. According to the same report, the Islamic Republic of Iran is one of only five countries in the world that have used capital punishment against the children under 18 years of age.
On average, as many as 34 people were executed in China every week in 1998, for crimes including drunk driving, fraud and theft.
Article 6(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, states, "In countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes in accordance with the law in force at the time of the commission of the crime...".